Kicking It Up A Notch / by Julie Cruz

One of my favorite things to do is bring my visions to life. The hard part? They take a lot of research, planning, time, help, etc. I often have people tell me that they want to do a shoot "just like that one" or ask me to bring crazy items to shoots (like a bed and farm animals! -haha). The reality is that the clients from those shoots helped me out with my visions. For instance, the family from this shoot owns all of those animals (and then some!) and when I told them my crazy idea, they were ALL for it. Dad disassembled their guest room bed and reassembled it in their front yard for me. So all of the key elements of this shoot (yard, bed, truck and farm animals) were theirs. I just had the idea and they helped execute it. I always have people say they want to be my guinea pigs and want to do something different. What most don't understand is that I don't have access to everything and everything. Locations are tricky to find, certain props aren't easy to find, and other things like ideal wardrobes, etc can't always be guaranteed. If you are a client, brainstorm and see if maybe one of your relatives, friends, etc has an awesome home or property we can shoot at. Maybe you have a cool bed that you could bring to a shoot? See if you have any elements to add to a different and unique shoot :) Anyway, I rambled a bit, but that was my precursor for my upcoming disclaimer. This shoot was pretty much a one time thing. Thanks to a wonderful friend, I was able to get approval to not only photograph a family here, but also to bring in a sofa (and yes, it was confirmed that it was a first! haha), so no, I will not be doing this same shoot again. If it were an easy feat, then yes, I wouldn't mind doing it, but it entailed weeks of approval, hauling a sofa down and carrying it quite some way (my arms are still hurting! lol. Keep in mind that my brother in law (who was helping me carry it) is 6'5" and i'm only 5'6" - haha!), being escorted in and out by security, etc. Needless to say, it was a good amount of work. I just wanted to mention this before people start asking for the same shoot.

So let's get back to the main point of this post! My sister and I brainstorm for her annual (every January) family shoot pretty much after each shoot we do. Last year we did a little "Glamour Meets Grunge and Nature" theme. This time I knew that I wanted to try out one of my visions on them. When I told my sister about it, she was ALL for it (like she always is with anything I mention). After that, our wonderful friend, Jeff, helped us out tremendously by getting permission for us. Thank you Jeff! We love you!

Without further adieu, here is a little peek of my gorgeous sister and her boys......